PHE 5005 week 4 Social marketing in healthcare 1




According to Andreasen (1995) social marketing can be defined as the process of applying concepts and techniques that have been successful commercially to change behaviors that are important in a community. Behaviors that might need to be changed in a society includes; drug use and irresponsible sexual behaviors

Social marketing is also viewed as the process of using marketing principles and techniques to not communicate but to create and deliver value to a target audience with the aim of influencing their behavior positively( Kotler, Lee& Rothschild,2006) . It emphasis the role of an individual and steps taken and how they might influence some health concerns that are of nationwide scope e.g diabetes, high blood pressure. People are made aware of their own action and how they might influence their health or lack of it

Background social marketing

Philip Kotler is widely credited as the father of marketing but it has not been until recently that social marketing became common place with many companies integrating this policy in the marketing of their products and services. The main aim of any marketing venture is to increase sales and in turn increase profits but social marketing differs in that respect. It is not only interested in the profits but on what happens at the receiving end (Andreassen,1995)

Social marketing aims at identifying the needs and interests of a target market and delivering satisfaction in a manner that is efficient and effective more than the rivals can and by so doing ensure that both the target market’s and society’s well being is taken care of.

Social marketing and healthcare

Health care is defined as a collection of services that are rendered to families and communities by health services or professionals with the purpose of promoting, maintaining and restoring the health.Social marketing plays a great role in influencing healthful behaviors by educating people on damages caused by unhealthy habits such as smoking and it also aims at promoting alternative behavior

In behavioral theory approach social marketers can look at the connection between behavior such as poor eating habits and obesity and they can respond by discouraging consumption of foods high in calories.Social marketer also use the persuasion approach to influence healthful behavior change by developing argument that can resonate with people

Implications for health practitioners

Social marketing can be used to create awareness of health behaviors and those habits can cause a healthy risk but this messages need to be reinforced by healthy practitioners through counselling Practitioners also need to use other channels to reach the target audience with information

Communication channels

Media relations CDC eHealth Metrics dashboardCDC-INFOCDC-TV

There is need to have a proper channel when you need to reach the people with health information and that will depend with the target audience and the kind of information you want to convey .But largely most of the messages that are targeting behavior change and healthy lives are based on mass media because it reaches a wider audience and it is also easier to determine the response to the message.

Population segmentation

It is a marketing term that refers to grouping your audience in small manageable groups that are homogenous and this can be based on demographic factors (age, race),geographic factors (locality and area),psychographic factors such as political and moral views and finally behavior al factors (Andreasen,1995)

Steps in population segmentation

Select a market for study: this is influenced what sort of behavior change that a given social marketing campaign is aiming at.This includes drug taker or obese children. Whatever group one wants to bring a change in behavior it should be clear (Lamb& McDaniel,2003)Basis for segmenting the market: This step one to be creative and have insight on the problems that he intend to tackle. There must be a burning issue that leads to one to want segment a market

Selecting segmentation descriptors : once a social marketer has settled on bases to use to segment the market he must establish some specific descriptions that he expects from his segment Select target markets: this stage is as a result of segmentation and it has great significance to determining the marketing mix

Designing and implementation of a marketing mix: marketing mix is described the 4 ‘p’s ;product,price,place and promotion and they have a key role to play in determining mutually satisfactory relationships between the client and the business

Evaluation of segments

Measurability; can we measure that given segment?Accessibility: can the segment be accessed for services Sustainability: how big is it to be fruitful or profitableActionability: can pragmas be implemented and acted upon?

Evaluation of communication campaign

Sustainability: It is important to evaluate the communication campaign by looking how effective it has been,some of the things to consider include the change in behavior and leadership. If the communication campaign has managed to change and influence positive behavior change in the target audience then that is a success(Backer,Rodgers& Sonor.y,1992)

Competition for attention: there is great competition that stands in the way of health behavior change and social marketing. This competition comes from digital communication channels that promote lifestyles such as the use of the cigarette.

Social marketing examples

In south Karnataka, district of India social marketing was used to great effect. Due to H1N1 pandemic people were advised to use soap while hand washing to prevent further infections and the message get a lot of acceptance and public support

Anti-smoking campaign; the truth campaign run by the American Legacy Foundation, has a success rate of reduction in number of people who start smoking and move on become addicts .From 1999 to 2002, the prevalence of smoking in young people in the US decreased from 25.3% to 18%, and the Truth campaign was responsible for about 22% of that decrease(Mahwah,2002)


Andreasen A.1995. Social marketing: Its definition domain. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing. Backer TE, Rogers EM,& Sonory, P.1992. Designing health communication campaigns: what works? Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Lamb,C.,& Hair,J.(2003). Essentials of marketing(3rd ed.). Mason Ohio: South-Western,Thomson Learning.Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum, 2002. Public health communication: evidence for behavior change.  Hornik RCRogers, E. (1995). Diffusion of Innovations. New York, NY: The Free Press.